nintendoh: (Yawn)
It's been a bad week workwise. Just not having it with the kids this week. I dunno if it's them or me. I vote them but I'm probably just not sleeping enough or something.

But that aside, learning is fun when you can learn what interests you. It always is, but I seem to forget this? I've been a fan of Coursera since I first ran into it in early 2013, but I seem to only do get the gall to attempt courses there once a year.

They've completely redone the platform since I last used it, and it's been a mostly positive change. Not sure I like the layout as much (the old one was uglier, but it was simple and clear), but I do like how, at least with what I am doing now, all the course material is up from the start. Materials are still organized by weeks and there are due dates, all to help you stay on track, but if you want to work ahead a bit you can.

As for the classes...I ended up signing up for the Python course anyway, as I figure the first two classes of the series will be review of what I studied last year anyway, so should be relatively struggle free, as I (hopefully) will be able to remember core concepts. And HTML5 actually has some pretty relevant changes I didn't know about, like a mess of new tags and a weening off of the div tag (which when I last took a web design class in 2007, we used for EVERYTHING). Pretty cool!

Also um TGS things?
Persona 5, Star Ocean, Lunar, etc )
nintendoh: (crying into my icecream)

Secondly: Satoru Iwata, President of Nintendo, has passed away. Really sad, but it makes the events of the past few years make sense. He was obviously seriously ill, despite the fact it was never talked about directly to the public. Sad news. I really liked him. Rest in Peace, Iwata-san. (Just heard about this as I was finishing up the entry, but thought it should be mentioned. Perhaps I will write about this more later when I have the time to organize my thoughts.)

Saturday night I took some staff members at one of my schools to my local Okinawan restaurant. It was a lot of fun! The food and spirits were amazing as usual, and I got to hear a lot about what goes on behind the scenes.

Sunday Katsushi and I went to Costco with Melissa and her husband Keita. We both had Costco memberships in the past but let them expire, and recently decided to just share one (since each card allows two additional guests, it works out pretty well). Didn't get much, but all of what I did get was exciting. Split some brownie bites and Pace Picante sauce (I KNOW IT'S TRASH SALSA BUT I DON'T HAVE ANY OTHER CHOICE. FRESH IS HARD TO COME BY HERE) with Melissa, then got some pretzel rolls (UNF) and...HUMMUS! HUMMUS! THEY FINALLY CARRY HUMMUS! I have been waiting so long for this. SO LONG.

The rest of Sunday was spent kinda just lazing around and eating and playing games. And talking about games, can I say what an anomaly Persona 4: Dancing All Night is? Feels like a game that shouldn't exist, but I am really glad it does. The contrast between the uber poppy, anime visuals and the legit electronic remixes (they got a bunch of well known Japanese DJs to contribute tracks) is so over the top and ridiculous but also awesome? This is a game fully aware of how campy it is, and that makes everything SO MUCH BETTER.

Cut for MUSIC! )


Feb. 6th, 2015 10:07 am
nintendoh: (Ryuji)

I don't know what I was expecting with the next Persona. Like, I just couldn't imagine what it would look like, and that has made it hard for me to be too excited. But last night Atlus released P5's first legit trailer, and man. MAN. Just LOOK AT IT. There's just SO MUCH TO LOVE. Everything is so slick and stylish, and the art direction is superb. I think I was expecting the same basic format/style as P3 and 4, just with HD, more detailed graphics, but it seems like they are taking things much further.

AND UGH THE CHARACTERS LOOK SO GREAT ALREADY. Ryuji (the blonde boy...already icon'd him!) will probably be my P5 crush, Anne looks awesome (and her name implies she might be half-Japanese, or maybe an international student?), the mascot-y character, Morgana, is a shapeshifting cat (YESSSSSSS!), and the protagonist is a phantom thief. A PHANTOM THIEF!

The director gave a short interview with Famitsu, and he said this about the game's theme:
“These days, I believe it isn’t uncommon for people not to know where they’re headed [in life] or to have various problems, be they big or small,” says Hashino. “Accepting the rules and values society deems acceptable isn’t a very fulfilling way to live—and yet, there are those that lack the courage to change the status quo, even as they’re held down by it.”

He continues, “This negative side of modern society is part of the backbone of this title. In the midst of all that, you have these rambunctious high school kids, who fight back against the things that might hold them down. If the game can give people the courage to face everyday life or even act as a trigger for positive change, I believe we will have accomplished our goal.”

I am definitely down for a game about challenging status quo. That kind of theme also leaves plenty of room for an actual, no butts about it LGBT character, SO MAKE IT HAPPEN, ATLUS. Or at least let me have romantic options with ALL the social links, not just the girls. PLEASE.

Ugh, I was kind of just planning to write a paragraph about this then move on to other things, but this kind of seems long enough as is, so I will end things here. Anyway, I am officially super hyped for this game. Anyone else with me?

ETA: Another message from the director here, def a good read.

ETA2: Also, seeing the girl's name as Anne AND Anzu around the web, not sure which it is. The kanji for her name IS often read as アンズ(anzu), but it also has an alternate reading of アン(an), so could be either? Also, apparently her surname, Takamaki, is also a Finnish last name, so WHO KNOWS. Since she has proper Kanji for her full name, I doubt she'd be FULL Finnish, but even half-Finnish would be pretty awesome.
nintendoh: (Default)
Didn't update this thing for a week! Yikes! I probably have more to talk about, but first: GAMES!

Finished Persona Q! Loved the map drawing and the battle system and the fan service, but it was a huge ass game that was sometimes a bit overwhelming. Didn't really touch it over the holidays, and when I got back to Japan had trouble picking it up again. Eventually I was able to do it by turning the difficulty down to the lowest setting, putting the battle speed on high, and skipping the remaining quests. YOU GOTTA DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO.

On that note, I ended up getting Legend of Legacy, a new 3DS RPG released last week. It was created by ex-SquareEnix people who wanted to make something classic that recaptured the magic of RPGs of the 90s. Aesthetically it is perfect. It's a beautiful game, with a nice, fairy tale world, nice character designs, and beautiful, atmospheric and often relaxing music. The story is simple (EXPLORE THE ISLAND!), which in a game where the emphasis is exploring the world yourself, is fine, but it's hard to enjoy the exploration because the difficulty quickly goes through the roof.

The enemies are super strong and they are everywhere. You are constantly being chased around the screen by your enemies (it's not wise to face every enemy that comes after you. If you die, it's game over, and if you run from battle, you have to start ALL THE WAY back to the entrance of whatever area you are in). All you can really do is grind. And grind and grind and grind. It's a lovingly made RPG (really, it is, and you CAN feel that) that fascinated me for my first handful of hours, but it quickly got frustrating, and I find it harder and harder to get myself to go back to it after every time. It's a game I want to love more, and I think it is a game that will be loved when in the right hands (many Japanese impressions are saying it's a game that "chooses it's player," rather than the other way around). I'm not ready to 100% give up yet, but I feel like I will not make it to the end. It's just not for me, I guess.

I got a free mini-soundtrack with the game and despite not being sure about the game, I know I am happy with the CD, cuz the music is amazing. JUST LISTEN TO THIS:
nintendoh: (Lips)
The rest of my weekend was really great. Feels like the best one I've had in a good while. Sunday was a bit of a down day. I did go out with Katsushi for a bit on his quest for a second hand iPhone 5c (he went all over the goddamn place and ended up buying it at the place nearest our place...after visiting it 4 times in 24 hours), and I continued on my Persona high by starting Persona Q. This is my first time playing an Atlus game in Japanese and my first Etrian Odyssey/Dungeon Crawler type game, and I am having a blast. It's so, so, so much fun!

Monday we went to a Thanksgiving party. I got to see Donna and her roommate for the first time in ages, and we talked for hours about EVERYTHING. We're planning on having an anime/dork day at my apartment after the winter holidays, so that's something to look forward to. :D

Heard about what's going on in Ferguson at work yesterday, and I've been catching up today. My tumblr dashboard is on fire with posts, and I am reading as much of it as I can.I feel disappointed in my country and sad and upset about what happened and is happening. There's more to it than that, but I am having a difficult time finding the words to express myself.

I'm finding this song comforting right now, so give it a listen.
nintendoh: (crying into my icecream)
Last night I went out for dinner and drinks with Melissa and some of her old students (now just friends. They've been getting together every few months like this for years). One of them is my student this year, and we've had multiple conversations about our friendship with Melissa, so this time she invited me as well. We went to an Asian fusion restaurant in Umeda. The food was tasty and everyone was really nice. Feel like I've been kind of accepted into their group, and they've promised to invite me to all future get togethers. Awesome!

When I came back home I beat Persona 3 Portable. I know a couple entries ago I complained a bit about certain aspects of the game, but the game was still completely and utterly awesome. I think I like P4 a bit better as a game, but I think I liked P3's overarching story better. And the ending. THE ENDING. It was PERFECT. And, Aigis. My dear, sweet Aigis. Was not expecting her to be my fav by the end, but it happened and now I have so many feelings.

Really liking the new Sakanaction stuff (this is a double a side single, I think? There's another video here featuring a DANCING SPIDER). I haven't paid attention to them for a while and am now feeling like I need to remedy this. Though I do feel the need to chime in once again and say how I wish their videos weren't so focused on the vocalist. I WANT TO SEE MORE OF THE REST OF THE BAND.
I've been feeling socially exhausted lately. I don't think I've been overly busy or anything, I dunno. Just feel like I CAN'T. Or something. Maybe it's for the best, though, because as of yesterday afternoon I started to feel like I'm coming down with a cold. The feeling is continuing today, so ugh there. Today is my easy day at work though, so hopefully I can rest my body a bit.

Not much was accomplished this weekend. Katsushi and I did get out a bit on Sunday to get some house-y stuff, but that was it. Spent the rest of the weekend in and eating curry (no, but really, we had curry Sat and Sunday night, then a bit of leftovers with dinner Monday. CURRY ALL THE TIME).

I watched a fair amount of Ranma this weekend and loved it. When I first started watching the second set of blu rays a few weeks ago I wasn't really feeling it. I dunno if the episodes got better (I did notice character designs and animation quality finally stabilize for sure, but I dunno about the writing) or I'm just more in the mood, but this weekend I was just like "MOOOOORE!"

I'm reaaaaally close to finishing Persona 3 Portable. I'm into January and have already gone as high as I can in Tartarus before the day of the final battle, so I'm basically just biding my time with social links and leveling. Still loving the game, but kinda just want it to be over already. The things that irk me about the game are really getting to me. Mainly the compulsive grind that is Tartarus (I'm so tired of it, but I at the same time can't stop trying to level my characters) and the shitty way social links with girls are handled (4 does them so much better. SO MUCH BETTER). Hopefully I'll finish it up in the next week or so.

Anyway, out of time. I'm off to work!
nintendoh: (NESSIN)
  1. So on my Tuesday at work there has been, on occasion (or okay...all of twice), a new teacher coming in at the end of my shift to hang out at the school and help, and she's a fellow Amerrrcin and fellow nerd, pretty much exactly like the nerdy friends I had in high school and the nerdy friends I've had on the internet and my long slumbering friend-o-meter is kind of going off. BUT HOW DOES ONE FRIENDSHIP, guys. I used to be able to do this crap like it was nothing in my younger, eager to make work friends days, but now it' s so awkward! XD Well, hopefully she'll come to the school again. If so I will have to try for a facebook address or something, if nothing else.

  2. I backed my first ever Kickstarter yesterday! It's the one for the Earthbound, USA documentary (+ guide book, fan CD, and fanzine), because it looks really awesome. It got fully funded really quickly, so that is awesome! Now I can just watch and see what stretch goals are reached. :D

  3. Oh, Persona, why are you so hard to put down? Only a couple days in with Persona 3 Portable and I am loving it. Maybe too much. I was a bit worried about the visual novel-ness of this version, but it hasn't really been a problem. Feels nice to be revisiting this game, hopefully I will finish it this time. I'm letting myself play it on easy to make sure this happens, as I won't let myself play Q until I've gone through 3's story.
nintendoh: (eating ice cream)
  1. Tsumabuki Satoshi love intensifying. Spent all morning searching the web for stuff about him, and just found out that he's going to be in a new drama starting this July called 若者たち (Wakamonotachi). Depending on what time/day it's on, I think I may try to watch it as it airs on TV! This is his first drama in like 5 years? Eita is also going to be in it too, which is pretty awesome. Two of my favorite Japanese pretty boys in one show! Looking forward to it!

  2. I'm out of Sailor Moon manga to read. Just finished vol. 6 of the new Kanzenbans last night. D: The last story was the Kaguyahime side story, which was super cute. Luna falling in love was adorable. :3 Now I have to decide if I want to buy the last couple volumes new or wait to see if they will appear at my local second hand shop.

  3. In other manga land stuff, I finished Patlabor last week. It was a really sweet manga. Also waiting for the next volumes of FMA kanzenbans to appear in second hand shops. These are less likely to be limited runs that go out of print (and get expensive) quickly than Sailor Moon, so I can afford to be patient.

  4. I watched Ghost in the Shell last weekend. Finally. Finally! Can't believe it took me that long. Haha....

  5. Last weekend I took down the main story final boss in Persona 4. Game's not over though, as I have to take on the bonus dungeon and I'm hoping to do the epilogue stuff, though. Think it's going to take me forever and a day to get through. Despite wanting to see the true ending, I'm not exactly looking forward to what I have to do. And I'm at that point that despite LOVING the game while playing it, whenever I'm not I'm just feeling like I can't be bothered.
nintendoh: (Niiii)
Not a whole lot to report since my last entry. Work. Rest. Comics. Games. One of my dumb nostalgia kicks were I pretend I wish things were like they were in junior high.

1. Check out this blog that scans and posts highlights of old issues of Animerica (and other classic anime rags). Looking at some of the issues I had back in the day, I can still remember the fanart and ads and news bits and stuff. ~Memories~. Make this instance number 23498320 where I regret tossing all my old mags in the recycling bin after moving home post-college/pre-Japan.

2. Getting close to the end of the main story in Persona 4! About to start the last main story dungeon, though considering I'm planning on doing some of the extra junk (want dat true ending), I feel like I'm still a bit of a ways of from finishing the game....

3. Been quietly continuing to read Patlabor over the past month or two. Getting to the final volumes (only 2 wide bans aka 4 regular sized vols left), and I've been enjoying myself greatly. I love the illustration style, and ugh for whatever I have a manga character crush on Asuma. I just love his face.

4. Very much considering actually buying the Nier Soundtrack. I mean T_T

Anyway, it's getting late. Not sure why I decided to write this now. I'm really not an evening updater anymore and this is kind of ruff.
nintendoh: (Faaaalling)
Main points from the remainder of my holiday:
  • Taco night was a success! We had enough left over for a taco lunch as well, as well as a round or two of nachos. Yum!

  • We went to Costco with Katsushi's mom and sister and got lots of good stuff. I have a giant bag of craisins now and am super excited about it! After the trip we got Katsushi's sister's pug and went for a walk in a big park. Her pug, Eito, is so cute!

  • Went to Sachiko's new house! We had a curry party (Sachiko made Thai, Japanese, and Indian!) and talked and played with Chihiro. He's at about 16 months now and getting big!

  • Katsushi and I went to Shiisa, the Okinawan place in my neighborhood that I love. There was a period last year where we were going once every two weeks or so, but this was our first time since the move! It was really wonderful to order all my favorites, sip a little awamori, and take in the peaceful atmosphere.

Other than what's listed above, I just relaxed, ate delicious things, read more comics and plucked away at Persona 4. Actually I ended up putting more time into Persona than I thought I would, especially in the second half of the vacation. Got myself up to October! Kind of simultaneously want the game to go on forever AND want it done with as soon as possible. I'm having so much fun, but like I have said before it's so absorbing that I can feel a bit too disconnected from reality at times. I can have a really hard time putting it down.

Also am continuing to deal with a bit of homesickness. Really missing my family, my cats, and California right now. :/

Today work starts again. Super duper not excited about this, but I know it's for my own good. Need my routine not to become a complete sack of crap. Money to live is pretty nice too, I guess.
nintendoh: (down but not out)
Days are passing. Maybe the dinner out I mentioned last time actually did have an effect on me, maybe it's just because I'm getting anxious and impatient for the start of my Golden Week holiday, but man have I not been in the greatest mood the past few days. Hurry up vacation! I need you!

Been spending a lot of time with games the past few weeks. Beat Nier, then went back for the second playthrough (though for this game, you are dropped into the last 40% of the game, so it's not a full second playthrough) for all the additional narrative and Ending B and dear lord. DEAR LORD. Everything hurts. EVERYTHING HURTS. Such a heart breaking story paired with an exquisite soundtrack. Will definitely be coming back to this game to just to experience it again.


Since finishing that, I pulled out the last of the Vita games I got with my Christmas money, Persona 4 The Golden. Been kind of putting this one off because I know how life sucking it was for me when I played it on the PS2 back when it was new. As a testament to my hesitation, I basically lost my Monday to the game, putting in around 8 hours (6 of which were back to back without break X_X). So much fun, but I definitely feel like I need to watch myself and perhaps not let myself play it every day. It's too easy to shut out the world and lose track of time with this series (I remember when playing 3 in college having nights were I stayed up until 3 or 4am because I kept being like "Just one more day! Just one more day!), and that is def not good for my sleeping habits or my relationship. Hah.


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